The demon Other: Pacific young men as Scapegoats in Australia’s newsprint media.

Research output: Other contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


There are many stories about young men with dark bodies, including Pacific young men, in Australia’s newsprint media. The repetition of particular themes in the stories about these young men contributes to the production of certain frames of ‘knowledge’ through their repeated portrayal as the dangerous dark young male ‘Other’. One of the enduring themes is that Pacific young men are a danger to society at large. Whether intentional or not, such representations homogenise a complex group of people into a singular entity who do not meet society’s perceptions of ‘normal’ in ways that dehumanise and demonise. Dehumanising or demonising those from outside of the broader culture has its connections to the principles of the Scapegoat myth within traditional mythology. It can be argued that newsprint media itself is a Scapegoat due to its propensity for creating ‘moral panics’ about particular groups in society. However, more often than not, it is the way in which their actions are articulated in newspapers rather than the actions themselves. In other words, ‘[t]he devils...have to be summoned’ (Hall, Critcher, Jefferson, Clarke & Roberts, 1978: 162, original emphasis). In this presentation, as a way of explaining how this ‘summoning’ happens, I will examine several newspaper representations of Pacific young men which demonstrate that it is how these stories are discursively rendered that contribute to the Scapegoat myth.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventReimagining Australia: Encounter, Recognition, Responsibility - University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia
Duration: 07 Dec 201609 Dec 2016


ConferenceReimagining Australia
Abbreviated titleSocial justice/human rights
Internet address


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